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Please welcome new members here and if you have not introduced yourself yet, take a minute to let people know a little bit about yourself.

Hello from Utah

Postby gregkdc » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:46 am

Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:39 am
Climate Zone: USDA zone 6b
Hello to every body! My name is Greg and have been lurking around here for a while. I live in central Utah hardiness zone 6b and the second driest state in the US. If that wasn’t bad enough the soil is calcareous clay. In spite of all of that fruit trees grow pretty well here and like the rest of you I am interested in what is exotic for my area. Sorry for the long post I am usually pretty reserved I guess I just had a lot to say.
I have always been interested in growing my own fruit and things really took off when I bought my first house a few years ago and I planted some artichokes. Now artichokes might not seem like a big deal to you guys but here they will die without winter protection. As I write this the morning low today was right around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Anyways like most produce my artichokes tasted incredible compared to what you get at the super market, and so I started planting. Here is a list of what I grow or intend to grow.

Established fruit
Apples –2 trees that were on the property when I bought the house they are a golden delicious and a red one I am not sure what variety.

Grapes- both purplish pink of unknown variety but one is seedless.

Basic red (prune) plum tree. The plums are ok but I intend to graft some elephant heart onto it. To me elephant hearts are the best tasting plum even better than all of the pluots varieties I have tasted.

Recently planted fruit none of these have set fruit yet.
Blue crown passion flower.

Black berries triple crown and chester.

Elberta peach the tree is 2 years old and hasn’t bloomed yet but really took off last year. Eventually I will graft either red haven or O’Henry on to it.
Honey berries seem to be growing fine.

Arguta kiwis I planted these last year and they didn’t do so well. They would get leaf burn when the temperature got above 100 and they don’t like the lime in the soil. Does anybody know if there is a lime resistant root stock for kiwis like grapes?
Paw paws NC-1 and a seedling both made it through the summer and even grew a few inches so I am pretty excited about that. I was worried about the lime but they seem to have adapted quite well. The NC-1 dropped all of its leaves when I planted it and then grew bigger and better than it was before. The trick here is to water them like crazy and keep them shaded. I am really excited to try these as I have never eaten any of the annona fruit. I want to buy some cherimoya but I don’t know who is a good online dealer. Also eventually I would love to make a greenhouse and plant some more exotics like a cherimoya.

To be planted this spring
Poor man gooseberry
Salavatski pomegranate
Chicago hardy fig
If I have missed any thing that would be good in my garden or if you have any suggestions please feel free to comment.

Re: Hello from Utah

Postby sanjosefool » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:38 pm

Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:23 pm
Climate Zone: San Jose 9b
welcome greg! nice list of fruit you have going. it's true that we can grow more here in Nor/SoCal but your higher chill opens up things we can't do here. currants/gooseberry/high chill stone fruits. for example, many cherry varieties are hit or miss depending on the chill for the winter here in San Jose. You can probably get good fruit set on most of these varieties. I see you don't cherries on your list. You like them? Do you have a dry climate? They might do well for you (probably need a raised bed/mound though because of the clay)..

Re: Hello from Utah

Postby gregkdc » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:25 pm

Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:39 am
Climate Zone: USDA zone 6b
I love cherries but around here everybody grows them so for me they’re not unusual. Also they are prone to be eaten by worms and birds. My neighbor has a huge cherry tree that gets cleaned out every year by birds. They start at the top of the tree and within a few weeks they are all gone. The birds don’t even wait for the cherries to turn color; it is a bonanza for them. They are the same way with mulberries, which I also like, but I am hesitant to grow for the same reasons. The birds don’t seem to bother plums and apples they will eat a few of them but not all. If I could keep a cherry tree small and productive I would probably grow one. This way I could net the tree to keep the birds out. Last I think it is funny I have never heard of a Utah Giant until I stared reading sites like this one. Most people around here grow Lambert, Bing, pie or Rainier cherries.

What do you guys do for pests and insecticides? One reason why I want to grow different types of fruit is because you have fewer vectors for infecting your trees. Everyone around here has all of your basic high chill fruits and most of these people don’t take care of their trees. This makes it impossible to control codling moth, cherry worms or peach borer without insecticides so I am trying to branch out away from these fruits with some exceptions. The exception is there is no way I could say no to a fresh peach right off of the tree, still warm from the sun and ripe enough the skin peals off!

Re: Hello from Utah

Postby sanjosefool » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:12 pm

Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:23 pm
Climate Zone: San Jose 9b
Well if you have access to fresh cherries then yeah, plant other things. I see a lot of people net their trees to stop the birds. If you let a mulberry get big enough should be plenty for birds and people, but sounds like you are on a suburban type lot.

I can't speak to pesticides/insecticides. My trees are too young/don't have problems yet.

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